An intentionally simple CMS for people who build websites for other people.

Source: Vapid

Spotify will now let indie artists upload their own music

Spotify today is taking another step that may make record labels uncomfortable. Fresh off reports that the streaming service is cutting its own licensing deals with independent artists, the company this morning announced it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to its service, too.

The upload feature is today launching into beta on Spotify for Artists, the online dashboard that arrived publicly last year. This dashboard and its accompanying mobile app allow artists to track metrics surrounding their streams and their fan base demographics.

Through the new upload tool, artists will now be able to add their own tracks to the streaming service in just a few clicks.



Explains Spotify, artists will upload the music, preview how things will appear, then edit the music’s metadata, if need be. They’ll also be able to choose when those new tracks “go live” on Spotify. (No more new music Fridays, perhaps.)

Most importantly, Spotify says that artists are paid as usual for their uploaded music – the royalty payments will simply be direct deposited to artists’ bank accounts every month.

Another new report in the dashboard will detail how much the uploaded streams are earning and when they can expect to be paid.

The upload option is free, and Spotify says it won’t deduct any fees or commissions of its own.

Source: Spotify will now let indie artists upload their own music | TechCrunch

Good for them

Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson

Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself;

but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices.

Source: Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8: Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson

Elon Musk On Joe Rogan

You hear people all the time telling you what they don’t need. They don’t need a new phone, they don’t need a faster connection, don’t listen to them, they’re the ones being left behind, they can’t handle the future.

But the future is coming. Musk is optimistic. He says he’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.

The media is pessimistic. Just like the educational system. The teachers and administration want to drag you down into the hole they’re in (thanks Dylan!) But if I could sit with Musk, if I could be exposed to some of these thinkers…

They’re changing our lives. But the people “in charge” are too stupid to understand them. Musk spoke with fifty governors, i.e. all of them, about the detriments of AI and…they didn’t get it.

Congress doesn’t get it, they’re just a brake after the fact. And of course we need brakes on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, but if you don’t take the time to understand how they truly work, live with those running them as opposed to questioning them for a few hours every other year, you’ll never get it.

…before Musk and Tesla the electric car was dead. Now the electric car is the future.

The future is coming, stop denigrating those who are leading us there.

Source: Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Elon Musk On Joe Rogan

Nature Doesn’t Architect for Scale and Neither Should You

Large animals didn’t grow larger because they had become more complicated, they had to become more complicated because they’d grown larger.

These lessons of scale apply equally to organizations. A two-person company doesn’t need an HR department, but a thousand-person one probably does. The processes used by organizations also reflect their scale. If you’ve ever gone from a small to a large company or vice-versa the differences can feel disconcerting, liberating or alien. No-one working for a small start-up or on a small project longs for big-company process or bureaucracy, but yet strangely they often seem to adopt the same tools, infrastructure and architectural patterns of large and successful companies. In doing so they overlook one of the biggest advantages of being small – the ability to keep things simple.

Source: Nature Doesn’t Architect for Scale and Neither Should You · JCooney.NET

The Algorithmic Trap — David Perell

Algorithms are great at giving you something you like, but terrible at giving you something you love. Worse, by promoting familiarity, algorithms punish culture…

One caveat: Avoiding algorithms doesn’t apply to traveling in beautiful places. I depend on algorithms in expansive natural parks. When I’m in Patagonia, I want to do the best hike. In Alaska, I was to see the prettiest glacier. The focus is on nature, not people. Depending on algorithms, however, doesn’t work as well in cities, where culture is more important than geography. City travel works best when we put down our phones, seek serendipity, and lean into another culture.

Source: The Algorithmic Trap — David Perell

Sears’s History Predicts Almost Everything Amazon’s Doing

Why is Amazon looking more and more like an old-fashioned retailer? The company’s do-it-all corporate strategy adheres to a familiar playbook—that of Sears, Roebuck & Company. Sears might seem like a zombie today, but it’s easy to forget how transformative the company was exactly 100 years ago, when it, too, was capitalizing on a mail-to-consumer business to establish a physical retail presence. To understand Amazon—its evolution, its strategy, and perhaps its future—look to Sears.

Source: Sears’s History Predicts Almost Everything Amazon’s Doing – The Atlantic

Maybe more time should be spent within the press on why Amazon keeps getting a pass on everything.

Patreon Acquires Memberful, An Interview with Patreon CEO Jack Conte and Memberful CEO Drew Strojny

I think there has been a shift from paying for stuff that’s already made to paying for the ongoing creation of content, and to my mind publishers need to get into that mindset of shifting away from selling something that’s already done to selling the creation of something. That shift seems to mirror the Patreon “This stuff is already out there, and if you want to throw a few bucks our way that’d be amazing and you’ll feel good about it” to “Look, if you want this stuff, you gotta pay for it” sort of way. Do you think that’s a fair characterization, do you see the same shift, or am I sort of imagining things here?

There’s a whole segment of the market that doesn’t want to build a membership business on someone else’s platform, they want full control of the branding, they want full control of the experience. Right now Patreon is unable to serve that market, if we were to build that, it would be a completely separate thing. Working with the Memberful team accelerates us into that market segment, so it gives us a very big head start. I would say mostly that’s where the value is.

Source: Patreon Acquires Memberful, An Interview with Patreon CEO Jack Conte and Memberful CEO Drew Strojny – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Contributing Back to Node.js is the Most Important Area of Work for Microsoft

The most exciting thing to me about Node.js is its ubiquity. Node.js is in the initial stages of its uptick. There’s a long way to go and a long way to grow.” – Gaurav Seth, Group Product Manager at Microsoft

Source: Contributing Back to Node.js is the Most Important Area of Work for Microsoft

General Magic – ‘It had Apple’s fairy dust sprinkled on it’

From the Hollywood Reporter’s Tribeca Film Festival review:

See if you can identify the following people: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Mark Porat.

If you puzzled over the last name, don’t feel bad. Porat was the founder of a technology company called General Magic, which you also probably haven’t heard of despite it once being described in Forbes magazine as “the most important dead company in Silicon Valley.” Matthew Maude and Sarah Kerruish’s documentary General Magic, receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, provides a compelling history of a company that created a groundbreaking product that was unfortunately ahead of its time.

The company, started in 1990, was a spinoff of Apple, which six years earlier had unveiled the Macintosh. The idea was to create a handheld personal computer, essentially a precursor to the modern smartphone, and its roster included some of the best and brightest talents in the technology industry including Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Megan Smith, Kevin Lynch and Tony Fadell. As a New York Times journalist says of the fledging enterprise, “It had Apple’s fairy dust sprinkled on it.”

My take: I remember the guys at General Magic. I remember what Apple did to them. What I didn’t know was what they did next. See below (click to enlarge):

General Magic

General Magic

General Magic

General Magic

Source: ‘It had Apple’s fairy dust sprinkled on it’ – 24/7 Wall St.

also see a great first hand running story about General Magic